Quality of project documentation as a major risk source in infrastructure projects in South Africa

Malinda, Moses Joseph Kelvin (2017-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: It is a common occurrence for infrastructure projects to exceed the planned project cost and time and clients very often provide a contingency amount to counter the effects of such eventualities. The decision to mitigate project cost escalation and time overruns through contingency allocations is often arbitrary. Furthermore, poor quality is observed in some constructed assets. The research objective was therefore to explore the influence of quality of project documentation in the delivery of infrastructure projects in South Africa. The strategy used in the research was a literature review and two rounds of questionnaire surveys. Experts consulted in the study included clients, consultants and contractors. Overall mean scores were used to measure and rank the influencing factors. The study explored the factors that influence project key performance indicators which lead to failure to achieve project objectives within agreed time frames, cost and quality. Respondents agree that low or inadequate professional fees is the major driving factor that limit the performance of the consultant. The research findings suggest that low professional fees have resulted in consulting engineers missing effective project management methodologies in the delivery of infrastructure projects. On account of inadequate professional fees, the findings demonstrate that this is directly linked to personnel skills, leading to failure by consultants to practice value engineering. This has led to incomplete designs, design errors, bad specifications, as well as poor constructability through poor quality of project documentation. These deficiencies have the potential of increasing project cost, time and affect the quality, and in some instances, result in structural failure and accidents. Disputes have also been recorded in the delivery of some infrastructure projects. The quality of project documentation is therefore a major source of risk in the delivery of infrastructure projects in South Africa. Respondents support the proposals for the client organisations to limit the practice of professional fees discounting. The research further recommends a review of procurement strategies with respect to consultancy services to promote innovation in the delivery of consultancy services.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Dit kom algemeen voor dat infrastruktuur projekte die vooraf beplande koste en tyd vir ‘n bepaalde projek oorskry. Kliënte maak dikwels voorsorg hiervoor deur ‘n gebeurlikheidsbedrag by die projek koste te sit. Die manier waarop die bedrag bepaal word is meeste van die tyd arbitrêr. Verder word daar in sommige gevalle swak kwaliteit waargeneem tydents projekte. Die doel van die navorsing was dus om die invloed van die kwaliteit van projek dokumentasie in die lewering van infrastruktuur projekte in Suid-Afrika te ondersoek. Die navorsing is gedoen deur ‘n literatuur studie en daarna vraelyste uit te stuur na kenners wat uit kliënte, konsultante en kontrakteurs bestaan. Die vraelyste is voltooi in twee rondtes, waarna invloedsfaktore op ‘n ranglys geplaas is. Algehele gemiddelde tellings is gebruik om invloedsfaktore te meet en met mekaar te vergelyk. Die studie het faktore ondersoek wat die oorsaak is vir die mislukking van projekte in terme van koste, kwaliteit en tyd. Respondente van die vraelyste het uitgewys dat lae professionele fooie die prestasie van die konsultant beperk. Die lae fooie veroorsaak dat konsultante nie goeie projekbestuur beginsels in die lewering van infrastruktuurprojekte toepas nie. Die bevindinge dui verder daarop dat weens lae fooie en ooreenstemmende gebrek aan vaardighede, konsultante nie daarin slaag om projekte sodanig te ontwikkel dat daar ‘n optimale balans is tussen koste en waarde nie. Dit lei dan tot swak projek dokumentasie, onvoltooide ontwerpe, ontwerpsfoute, swak spesifikasies en swak boubaarheid. Hierdie aspekte kan dikwels die projek koste en tyd verhoog. Verder kan dit ook die kwaliteit en veiligheid van die projek ondermyn. Geskille word ook waargeneem tussen die partye betrokke by die lewering van sommige infrastruktuur projekte. Die kwaliteit van projekdokumentasie is dus ‘n groot risiko in die lewering van infrastruktuur projekte in Suid-Afrika. Respondente van die vraelyste ondersteun die konsep dat ‘n beperking geplaas word op die hoeveelheid afslag wat op professionele fooie gegee kan word. Die navorsing beveel aan dat die verkrygingstrategieë waarop konsultasie dienste bekom word hersien word. Hierdie moet gedoen word ter bevordering van innovering in konsultasie dienste.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100947
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